James P. Kyricopoulos, 65, Haverhill, Massachusetts, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Thomas Drechsler to three to five years in state prison followed by eight years of probation during which he must pay $24,000 in restitution to the victims for convincing homeowners to send him their mortgage payments in exchange for a loan modification.
A jury found him guilty of 19 counts of larceny over $250 following a 7-day trial. Judge Drechsler also ordered the defendant not to engage in providing any type of assistance to others involving money or finances once he is released.
Kyricopoulos defrauded a Lawrence, Massachusetts, couple out of $24,000 by misrepresenting himself as a “financial analyst” who could help them obtain a mortgage modification. The defendant instructed the victims to send the mortgage payments to him and not to the mortgage company. He also told them to never contact the bank and that he would handle all communications.
Over a period of two years, the defendant received payments from the victims and paid only a small amount of the money to the mortgage company, causing the victims to go into default and face foreclosure. While the mortgage company sent letters to the victims about the delinquency, the defendant repeatedly lied about what the letters meant. Evidence was also presented that showed the defendant spent the money he received from the victims on numerous cash withdrawals and personal expenses such as rental cars, cable television, and at the Foxwoods MGM Grand Casino in Connecticut.
Finally, after the victims contacted the mortgage company and learned that they were two years behind in mortgage payments and were facing foreclosure, they contacted the Lawrence Police.
Fortunately for the victims, their mortgage company, Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, was able to work out a loan modification that allowed them to keep their home, which they still remain in.. In addition, the company flew a loan officer, Kevin Flanagan, to Massachusetts to testify at trial.
Essex Assistant District Attorneys Philip Mallard and Jessica Strasnick prosecuted the case.
In his closing argument, ADA Mallard said, “This defendant walked around Foxwoods Casino flush with the cash he stole, while the victims, who had just had a baby, were facing foreclosure despite never having missed a payment.”
ADAs Mallard and Strasnick praised the work of Essex Victim Advocate Jennifer Capone and Lawrence Police Detective Paul Macmillan who assisted in the investigation and prosecution.
“This defendant took advantage of the victims trust and preyed upon their difficulty reading English. In addition to the $24,000 he stole, he nearly robbed them of the home they worked so hard to buy,” Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “This type of crime is so devastating because it prevents hard-working people from gaining a foothold in the community.”